• Curfew-like restrictions, clashes in Valley parts
• Friday prayers disallowed at Jamia
• Schools, colleges to remain shut today
Authorities Friday imposed curfew-like restrictions in parts of Kashmir after a top militant commander Zakir Musa, head of Al-Qaida affiliate AnsarGazwat-ul-Hind (AGH) in Kashmir, was killed in a gunfight with the government forces at Dadsara area of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions in Srinagar downtown areas and Maisuma area of uptown, Pulwama and Anantnag in south Kashmir as a precautionary measure to prevent protests against killing of Musa.
Moderate restrictions were also imposed in north Kashmir’s Sopore town and south Kashmir’s Kulgam town and Bhaderwah town.
Zakir Rashid Bhat alias Zakir Musa, who parted ways with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen after the killing of its poster boy BurhanWani in July 2016, was killed in an overnight gunfight with the government forces at Dadsara village in Tral on Thursday.
As Police and Army declared Musa dead in the gunfight, large contingents of Police and paramilitary CRPF personnel were deployed on roads in restriction-imposed areas while barricades and concertina wires were erected at various intersections to restrict public movement particularly in south Kashmir.
A resident of downtown Bilal Ahmad said that due to apprehension of protests, a large presence of forces denied them movement outside their houses to prevent public assembly.
“Only emergency cases were allowed to move,” he said.
However, people at some places defied restrictions and took out protests and resorted to stone throwing on the forces against the killing of Musa.
In south Kashmir, the restrictions affected life in Anantnag, Pulwama and Kulgam towns.
However, reports said after Friday congregational prayers, people defied restrictions at several places in the Valley and clashed with government forces.
Clashes were witnessed between youth and the government forces at RekChowkBatamaloo, HabbaKadal, Nowshera, Soura, near Charsoo area of Awantipora, Sopore, Khanabal and Laizbal area of Anantnag.
Youth threw stones at government forces, who retaliated by firing tear smoke shells to disperse the protestors.
A youth identified as Irfan Ahmad of Sopore was injured during clashes with the government forces in Sopore.
He sustained tear smoke shell injury in a hand and was shifted to sub-district hospital Sopore for treatment, however, doctors referred him to Srinagar hospital for specialised treatment.
Authorities also disallowed Friday congregational prayers at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar for the second time in the holy month of Ramadan.
All gates of the historic Masjid were closed and contingents of government forces were deployed outside it.
Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is also the chief cleric of the historic Masjid, condemned the barring of mandatory Friday prayers at Jamia.
“Condemn that for the second time in #Ramadan jumma prayers disallowed at #JamaMasjid. Extremely sad that each day #Kashmir loses its promising young in one way or other to the lingering conflict,” the Mirwaiz twitted.
He urged all stakeholders to come together to put an end to this daily killing and violence and bring peace to this “beleaguered land by resolving Kashmir issue”.
Meanwhile, a spontaneous shutdown was observed in Kashmir and Banihal town as a result of killing of Musa.
Shops, business establishments and fuel stations remained closed in Srinagar and other district headquarters of the Valley while roads wore a deserted look as public and private transport was off the roads across Kashmir.
A complete shutdown was also observed in Banihal town where the government forces were deployed as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.
All schools, colleges and universities remained closed while Kashmir University (KU) and Islamic University of Sciences and Technology (IUST) Awantipora postponed examination scheduled on Friday.
The authorities have ordered closure of all schools and colleges across Kashmir division on May 25, a precautionary measure taken to maintain law and order in the Valley.
An official said that B.Ed. exam which was supposed to be conducted Friday has been rescheduled and would be held on May 26 (Sunday).
“The time and venue for the exams will be same,” he said.
The official said the backlog exams of first semester-2015 batch have also been postponed.
“The fresh dates for the exam will be notified later, separately,” he said.
IUST, Awantipora also postponed all the examination scheduled for Friday.
A varsity spokesman said the fresh dates for the deferred exams would be notified later, separately.
Authorities also suspended local train service between Baramulla and Banihal and internet services on mobile phones across the Valley.